Are you confused by terms that educators use? The ASCD Lexicon of Learning might be what you need.
Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects. Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.
Part 1: Essential Questions
Essential Questions (Page 2):
Part 2: Technology Integration Resources
Part 3: Web Page Design
Part 4: Multimedia in Projects
The dynamics of the learning process are influenced in turn by the ways people think: rational versus creative; deductive versus inductive; logic versus perception; analysis versus synthesis. Our thinking is both individual and social. It is also affected by our emotional state, attitudes, and experiences. With the rise of artificial intelligence, some of that thinking is offloaded to machines.
According to Rupert Wegerif (2002), "[T]he kinds of thinking that people value most depend on the cultural and historical context and particularly upon the kind of technology that people have at their disposal to help them think” (p. 11). “Technology, in various forms from language to the internet, carries the external form of thinking. Technology therefore has a role to play through supporting improved social thinking (e.g. providing systems to mediate decision making and collective reasoning) and also through providing tools to help individuals externalize their thinking and so to shape their own social worlds” (p. 15).
Robert Kuhn (2000), an expert in brain research, indicated that few people really understand the complex nature of how technology is transforming thinking. “The change in mental process is nothing less than a shift in worldview. Technology is radically transforming our thinking in at least three new ways:
(1) information is freely available, and therefore interdisciplinary ideas and cross-cultural communication are widely accessible;
(2) time is compressed, and therefore reflection is condensed and decision-making is compacted;
(3) individuals are empowered, and therefore private choice and reach are strengthened and one person can have the presence of an institution.
So what kind of new thinking is technology engendering? Notice what happens. With an increasing number of diverse ideas circulating freely and widely, and with people more empowered but with less time to assess value, and with vast communications amplifying opinions, this new thinking is at once creative and innovative, volatile and turbulent.” (Kuhn, 2000, sec: Concluding Remarks).
The new tools for communication that have become part of the 21st century no doubt contribute to thinking and that creativity, innovation, volatility, and turbulence that Kuhn indicates. Hence, the glossary that follows takes a further look at some of those.
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The Amazon widget below shows books using the search phrase: Web 2.0 education. You can also use the widget to search with other key words. Suggestions include:
Initially the Internet was characterized as a place to go to find information, associated with acquiring knowledge. It was linked with the term "Web 1.0," a read-only one-way medium. However, Web 2.0 is an evolution to a read/write medium and is the new expectation enabling anyone to participate, collaborate, and share information online using many of the tools listed in the glossary below. As Todd Lucier (2009) noted, "Web 1.0 was the content Web; Web 2.0 has generally been regarded as the social Web" (section: "Let's Look Back").
Yet, some educators have concerns about the affect on learning when using Web 2.0 tools and other digital tools. Where do they fit in the hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy? Recall that Benjamin Bloom first developed his Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain in 1956 to include six levels, which from low to high are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These were later revised in 2001 to be in verb, rather than noun form: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Churches, 2008). Andrew Churches (2008) added new digital verbs to each of the levels in the taxonomy, reflecting where the use of Web 2.0 and other digital tools fit into the learning process. He calls it Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Map. Drawing from that, consider the following additional verbs associated with digital content:
View Jeff Utecht's Web 2.0 video on YouTube to learn more about Web 2.0 and how it differs from Web 1.0. If you need some “Explanations in Plain English“ on several on the new Web 2.0 tools (e.g., blogs--and microblogs like Twitter, wikis, webcasts, podcasts, social networks, and social bookmarks), view Lee LeFever’s short video clips on those topics at YouTube. Then to get started with Web 2.0, visit Classroom 2.0, the social network for educators using collaborative technologies. If you'd like to get a sense for the many Web 2.0 tools and applications, visit Go2web20, which is one of the biggest web2.0 directories. Also visit the wiki: Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools.
A Taste of Web 2.0--and mostly free, too!
Here's a primer for the unknowing and those who want to take their technology use to the next level. Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's A Taste of Web 2.0 in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, Mar 19).
Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools
Advancements in technology, principally Web 2.0, social software, and digital tools, have challenged what it means to be educated and how we proceed to educate our youth in a culture where innovation and creativity, lifelong learning, personalization (my own learning space), and knowledge from and with the collective vie for a rightful place. Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's Crossroads in Education: Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, Apr 16).
As technology is continually evolving with new tools and their applications, new terms like "Web 3.0" have emerged with various definitions of it. Lucier (2009) discussed the rise of Web 3.0 and provided his own definition: "the location-aware and moment-relevant Internet." The phrase makes it relatively easy for anyone to grasp the concept. Consider, "Content relevance in Web 3.0 is heightened by location and time. Intimate connections are made between the real world and the Web, often with the use of handheld data-enabled phones like iphone and other devices" (section: "Web 3.0 defined"). Think of applications like Twitter, gps triggered multimedia tools (from where you are find your location and get directions, local maps, phone numbers, or find local restaurants, movies, points of interest, TV listings), online storage sites that can be accessed from anywhere, real-time communications such as video calling; cell phone video broadcasting or instant photos, and instant uploading of those to the internet.
Aggregator: "A website or software program that gathers (aggregates) and displays web content such as news headlines, blogs, and podcasts from multiple websites to a single location. It allows searches by keyword and provides summaries for browsing. It uses RSS or other types of feeds to find the content, and allows subscribing to feeds, allowing new content to be automatically downloaded when it is available. Also known as a feed reader" (PodcastFAQ, glossary). An aggregator is a time saver. Think of it as your personal collection agency. Rather than going out to search multiple sites individually, the aggregator will do it for you and deposit current information from favorite blogs and news sites directly in a central location.
Aggregators work together with RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. Look for an RSS icon on your favorite sites and subscribe to them. Aggregator tools include:
The following are tutorials and information about setting up your aggregator and working with RSS:
Blog: short for Web log, "a website for which an individual or a group frequently generates text, photographs, video, or audio files, and/or links, typically (but not always) on a daily basis" (Wikipedia). Postings are chronological, and unlike wikis, cannot be edited by others (Fountain, n.d.)
Blogs in the classroom:
Dan McDowell (2004) proposed blogging techniques for the K12 classroom and provides links to examples of each. Educators can use blogs as administrative tools for one-way delivery of information to students and parents. Blogs can be used as discussion tools. A teacher might post a discussion question or topic on a single blog, and students post their responses. Or, teachers can allow students to not only respond, but to post their own comments. Blogs can also be used as publication tools. Students each have their own blog on which they post assignments, projects, digital portfolios, reflections, and so on.
There is also the rise of microblogging using tools such as Twitter, which limits messages to just 140 characters. In 7 things you should know about Twitter, Twitter is described as "an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, and part cell phone/IM tool" (Educause Learning Initiative, 2007, p. 1). Ron Jones (2008) described Using Twitter as an Educational Tool.
Tip: If students each have their own blog, consider setting up a blog aggregator, so that you as the teacher can read the blogs and comment to the group without having to go to each blog separately. Demski (2012) suggested simplifying navigation by "having students subscribe to each other's blogs via RSS feeds, dividing students into small groups to comment on each other's work, or building a mother blog--a front page for the course that aggregates recent blog posts, comments, updates from course-related websites, and social-networking feeds" (p. 19).
Blogs can serve a personal agenda or be journalistic in nature. Educators might need to justify that using a blog will contribute to helping students reach instructional objectives, as it should have a clear pedagogical purpose. When used in K-12, they might need to justify their use to master standards, so that they perform well on state-mandated tests. But, consider that blogs offer the collaboration so important in a learner-centered instructional environment.
If you use a blog, it should be an integral part of your instruction and a graded element of the course, so that students will not view it as just another thing to do. According to Ruth Reynard (2007), each student develops his/her own voice in the process. "Student response statements really cover a wide variety of "types" that reflect the instructional goals of the course. That is, when developing individual voice throughout a learning process, each stage of that process is often reflected in the students' comments." When a blog is used throughout a course, the statements that students make can be categorized into reflective, commentary, new idea, or application statements to demonstrate their learning (online p. 1, Statement categories).
Reynard (2008b) noted five common mistakes when using blogs in instruction and how to avoid those:
Advance preparation is needed, including preparing students for how to write to a blog so that what they say is LARK, the acronym for Legal, Appropriate, Responsible, and Kind (Sturgeon, 2008). Advance preparation might include practical aspects such as "uploading images and videos, embedding text links, and writing constructive comments on peer blogs ... before content-specific blog entries are due" (Demski, 2012, p. 19).
Julie Sturgeon (2008) also provided some pitfalls to avoid when using blogs in the classroom:
Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog
For how to's on moderating and using a classroom instructional blog, read Dr. Patricia Deubel's Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog in K-12 Tech Trends (2007, February 21).
The number of blogging tools for classroom use is increasing. See examples and get the how to's using the following resources:
Some blogs for math educators:
K-12 educators in all content areas who are interested in educational technology blogs might consider the collection of 50 Must-Read K-12 Educational IT Blogs, as recommended by EdTech Magazine, June11, 2012. In addition, the following focus on math:
BetterExplained: http://betterexplained.com/ can benefit math educators, and anyone interested in those ah-ha moments in which you finally gained better insight into understanding a topic. In this blog by Kalid Azad, a Princeton grad who has also worked at Microsoft, you'll get his insights into several math and number concepts, programming and web development, business, writing, and communication. For example, there are posts on mental math, how to learn math, number systems, prime numbers, permutations and combinations, uses of the Pythagorean theorem, exponents, logs, complex numbers, and calculus topics.
Blogged: http://www.blogged.com/directory/education/math/ has over 200 blogs in its directory created by math educators on numerous math topics. You are sure to find one of interest!
Dy/Dan: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/ Dan Meyer's blog has a following of educators who share his interest in using dynamic math and Web 2.0 tools creatively for teaching and learning math. As one example, view one of his application videos in which he relates playing volleyball to the maximum height in meters of the ball in play according to the given equation of parabolic motion. You can then access other videos he has done.
Edublogs: http://edublogs.org/ hosts blogs for teachers and students. Within the community section are numerous blogs listed in the directory by subject area, which also includes mathematics/sciences. Free and paid versions are available.
Homeschool Math Blog: http://homeschoolmath.blogspot.com/ Math teacher Maria Miller presents anything to help you teach math. She includes math teaching ideas, links, worksheets, reviews, articles, news, Math Mammoth stuff, and more.
Mathematics Education Researcher: http://mathedresearch.blogspot.com/
MathNotations: http://mathnotations.blogspot.com/ Developer Dave Marain said his blog contains "fully developed math investigations that are more than one inch deep, math challenges, Problems of the Day and standardized test practice. The emphasis will always be on developing conceptual understanding in mathematics. There will also be dialogue on issues in mathematics education with a focus on standards, assessment, and pedagogy primarily at the 7-12 level through AP Calculus."
Mathtwitterblogosphere: http://mathtwitterblogosphere.weebly.com/ is actually a collection of math educators who twitter and blog--they are sharing some great ideas to enhance your teaching. You can also join. Under the section "How to Take the Leap," you will find recommendations on who to follow listed by academic content level (middle school, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics) and interest. Interest categories include arts and crafts in math, games, interdisciplinary work, classroom organization and management, modeling approach to teaching, standards-based grading, projects and rich tasks, technology in the math classroom.
MisterTeacher: http://misterteacher.blogspot.com/ Grade 5 teacher Jamie Tubbs blogs on math, science, and social studies and provides additional teaching resources.
squareCircleZ: http://www.squarecirclez.com/blog/ You'll also find interactive mathematics resources.
Tap Tap Math: http://www.taptapmath.com/ is a blog about how the iPod Touch and iPhone can be used to support learning math.
Teaching Math from HippoCampus: http://hippocampusmath.blogspot.com/
Wild About Math!: http://wildaboutmath.com/ by Sol Lederman is all about making math accessible and fun. He also has a list of fun articles related to math and a series of links to math contest problems from various math competitions in the U.S.
Blog Safety and Ethics:
Online safety and ethics must be considered; students should sign a code of conduct. In general, any blogging code of ethics should strike a balance between free expression with factual truth. Ethical considerations, which students must be taught, include the need for truth, accuracy, and accountability for what they say, and respect for others even when students might disagree. There is also need to ensure that bloggers keep private issues private to minimize potential harm to others. Consider the following for online safety and sample contracts for bloggers:
Cloud Computing: "Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)" (TechTarget.com, 2009). The term is often associated with Web 2.0 applications. Johnson, Levine, Smith, and Smythe (2009) stated, “Collaborative work, research, social networking, media sharing, virtual computers: all are enabled by applications that live in the cloud” (p. 5). Services delivered over the internet, such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or other Web-based email, Flickr, GoogleApps, YouTube, TeacherTube and Amazon Web Services are examples. While schools are commonly using cloud-based applications as of 2010 (Johnson, Levine, Smith, & Haywood, 2010), "the promise of the cloud’s extensive resources for computation, research, and collaborative work has yet to be realized" (p. 6).
There are other "cloud" examples, which can be used on a school curricular level. Scratch, a programming language for kids (aged 8 and up), developed by MIT Media Lab, can be used for free to create animations, interactive stories, games, music, and art. Vendors of commercial products are also providing online data storage. Consider Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader on the Web for grades 1-6 or Suntex International's First in Math, a skill building program aligned with national standards for grades 2-8 that uses games and offers pre- and post tests to assist with learning.
For more on what cloud computing is all about, see the resources at Cloudbook.net. Campus Technology also has a two-part primer on Diving into the Cloud (Ramaswami & Schaffhauser, 2011), which would help institutions regarding implementations of cloud services. For example, Ramaswami and Schaffhauser indicated, "The three primary cloud types are public, private, and hybrid. The most appropriate cloud for your institution will depend on several factors: what services you want to take to the cloud; your school's comfort level from a security standpoint; the existing infrastructure you have on campus; and privacy regulations that may dictate how data are secured" (Know Your Clouds section, para. 1).
Note: if you wish to take advantage of 3GB of free online storage for your documents, images, and other files, visit icloud. Access files from any computer. You can also use the service to collaborate with others.
Folksonomy: The word is derived from "folk" and "taxonomy." As opposed to taxonomy, which is a predefined traditional classification scheme created by authors of content for their own works or by professionals for the work of others ( e.g., as for a library or Yahoo.com), this is a new concept in which users (sometimes called amateurs) of social bookmarking systems on the Web categorize their own information for later retrieval. Users add their own keywords or tags to content they save, creating personalized or community-based organizational systems. In time the community develops its own structure of keyword descriptors to define its resources.
In Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata, Adam Mathes (2004) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of folksonomies and their potential impact on information retrieval systems. He elaborated on their nature by discussing two popular sites for sharing digital content: Del.icio.us (tool for organizing web pages) and Flickr (tool for photo management and sharing). Note: Educators should exercise caution if using Flickr, as some content might not be appropriate for K-12 learners. There are alternatives for Web site photo management for student projects, which include log-in and password features (e.g., Gallery, which is an open source Web-based photo album organizer).
Educause Learning Initiative. (2005, May). 7 things you should know about Social Bookmarking.
Wikipedia also discusses folksonomies and provides additional resources.
Modding: "a slang expression for the act of modifying a piece of hardware or software to perform a function not intended by someone with legal rights concerning that modification" (Wikipedia).
Podcast: Podcasting "stands for Portable On Demand Broadcasting. Podcasts were originally audio-only but may now contain still images, video, and chapters identifying major sections or ideas. An iPod is not needed to listen to a Podcast. You can listen to a podcast using any computer connected to the Internet that also has the capability of playing standard MP3 audio files. Once a podcast is downloaded it can be listened to at any time on the computer. Many people also like to copy the podcast to a portable device for playback on the go." (Educational Podcasting at Middle Tennessee State University, What is a Podcast?). The file can be created using a computer, microphone, free software, and posted to a web site.
Podcasts and learning:
Other podcast examples, how to's, copyright/legal info:
Social Network: A "map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds" (Wikipedia).
Note: In 2006, a nationally representative telephone survey was conducted for the Pew Internet & American Life Project using a sample of 935 teens, ages 12-17, including a parent or guardian. Results indicated that 55% of the online teens have their profiles online and are using social networks to communicate with current friends and to make new friends. The majority of those only post their first names (81%), but they have included pictures of themselves (79%) and friends (66%), information about where they live (61%) and share their school name (41%) (Lenhart & Madden, 2007, pp. ii-iii).
In its 2007 survey of about 1000 9-17 year olds, Kids' Social Networking Study, the research firm Grunwald Associates in cooperation with the National School Boards Association found popular social networking activities, which students engaged in at least weekly, were predominantly unidirectional. Those included posting messages (41%), downloading music (32%) and videos (30%), uploading music (29%), updating personal websites or online profiles (25%), posting photos (24%), creating and sharing virtual objects (16%), and creating new characters (14%). Collaborative events and reaching out to others were engaged in to lesser degrees, as evidenced by blogging (17%), participating in collaborative projects (10%), sending suggestions or ideas to websites (10%), submitting articles to websites (9%), and creating polls, quizzes, or surveys (9%) (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 1).
The implication for schools is that if we want social networking to make a difference in instruction and learning, the medium should also be used for its publishing and production aspects, reaching higher levels of collaboration and creativity, and for enabling learners to network with experts and peers in a manner where their work gains legitimacy within the larger community of experts in various fields. It also makes learning more interesting. Teachers will need to be more creative "to model the same skills they are looking for in their students" (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 3). Many probably need additional information, advice, ideas and examples, and resources for using social networking services with young people, which is available at Digizen.org from Childnet International, a London (UK) based company. The wiki, Social Networks in Education, contains an expansive listing of social networks used in a variety of educational environments or for educational purposes.
Social Network Tools: When you think about it, the telephone is a social networking tool, as is group or individual email, or a face-to-face meeting (with or without notes to document what happened or what was said). However, below might be more in line with thoughts on newer tools.
Safe Social Networking Sites: Social networks are a source of concern for parents and schools because of the online safety issues for students who use them. Sites like Flickr, MySpace, YouTube, Del.icio.us, and Facebook might be among those, as they are open to anyone to use. However, there are social networks that parents with their kids and educators can use in which they can create a private, protected environment for learning, and which have been rated as safe. There are also social networking sites that would be of principal interest to educators. Examples:
Algebra 4 All (A4A) Social Network: http://a4a.learnport.org/ is a "community of educators committed to sharing resources and supporting one another in the practice of teaching Algebra." A4A is sponsored by the Michigan Learnport. You'll find a group discussion forum, a project and lesson sharing area, blog posts, videos on multiple topics, an extensive collection of resources organized by function families, and more.
Classroom 2.0: http://www.classroom20.com/ is a social networking site for educators interested in Web 2.0 and collaboration.
Elgg: http://elgg.org/ (named after a town in Switzerland) is free open-source social networking software for educators and their students to create a secure "personal learning landscape. "It offers blogging, networking, community, collecting of news using feeds aggregation and file sharing features. Everything can be shared among users with access controls and everything can be cataloged by tags as well." If you are concerned about its use in K-12, consider that you can install it on your own servers and have complete control over it.
Future of Education: http://www.futureofeducation.com/ This is an interview series and discussion community open to all. A huge benefit is the regular series of interviews with innovative leaders who are making a difference in learning. Highly recommended.
K12 Advantage: http://www.k12advantage.com/forums/ has a set of forums for collaborating on issues related to curriculum, technology, administration, finance, and facilities. There are also blog categories by grade and content area. There are conference rooms for live collaboration, too.
Ning: http://www.ning.com/ [An interesting FYI: Ning means "peace" in Chinese.] Networks can be public or private. Math educators might be interested in a ning for their own professional development, such as the Middle School Math and Science Ning: http://msportal-2.ning.com/ or The Educator's PLN (Personal Learning Network): http://edupln.ning.com/
Schoology: https://www.schoology.com/ is free for your digital classroom and contains academic features, social networking features for private spaces, management, and administrative features.
Technology Integration in Education: http://www.technologyintegrationineducation.com/ is a "professional networking group. The intent of this site is to supply a place where educators and professionals alike learn about what is happening in technology in the classroom by following the latest news in Ed Tech, sharing content such as favorite webpages, Webinars, lesson plans, video, audio, as well as supplying a place to collaborate using blogs and discussions," according to its developer, Greg Limperis (About Us section).
Think.com: http://www.think.com/en/, sponsored by Oracle Education Foundation as a free resource to K-12 schools, provides a safe password-protected environment to connect schools, teachers, and students from around the world to collaborate on projects, share experiences, and build knowledge together. Simple publishing tools are provided for teachers and students to create their own web pages and engage in discussion.
TIGed (TakingITGlobal): http://www.takingitglobal.org/tiged/ offers a collaborative environment in which students gain access to global perspectives on global issues and new options for expressing their creativity. They can engage in project-based learning. A database of lessons is included. The environment is under control of the teacher, making safe social networking possible. TakingITGlobal.org membership is free, but small fees are attached for TIGed virtual classrooms, activity database, and teacher discussion boards.
We Are Teachers: http://www.weareteachers.com/ is a social network for educators, which contains thousands of teaching ideas and best practices in multiple categories.
Whyville: http://www.whyville.net/smmk/nice is for 8-15 year olds. In 2006, Whyville received iParenting's award for its safety features.
Software as a Service: (SaaS-pronounced like "sass") is a general name for software that is internet-based, rather than being software that is installed and resides on the end-user's computer. Google Apps is an example.
Vodcast or Vidcast: a video podcast
VoIP: (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that "allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line" (Federal Communications Commission). Examples:
Webcast: A program combining audio and video that is delivered live or played back on demand over the Internet.
You might begin your exploration of webcasts with the following:
Wiki: Hawaiian for quick, "a type of website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring" (Wikipedia). Wikis can be organized many ways (e.g., subjects, categories, hierarchies). They often contain a search engine, unlike many blogs (Fountain, n.d.).
For more on the role of wikis in education, see:
Educause Learning Initiative (2005, July). 7 things you should know about Wikis.
EducationalWikis: http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/ contains information on how to use wikis in education and a collection of examples of educational wikis with links to them that you can learn from.
Wiki Pedagogy: http://www.profetic.org/dossiers/spip.php?rubrique110 by Renée Fountain
Wikis in the Classroom: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3429997833514823728&q=classroom&hl=en Victoria Davis of Westwood Schools (GA) has a video explaining how she uses wikis in the classroom. This is a very instructive video on the process. Highly recommended.
50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom (2008, August 4): http://www.smartteaching.org/blog/2008/08/50-ways-to-use-wikis-for-a-more-collaborative-and-interactive-classroom/ Some great ideas here!
PBwiki.com: http://pbwiki.com/ As one example, educators might appreciate Teach Digital at PBwiki. This is Wesley Fryer's workshop and curriculum resources on blended learning, digital story telling, conversations, and collaboration. The focus is on Web 2.0.
Wikispaces: http://www.wikispaces.com/ public wikis are free.
Wikispaces for Educators: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers offers K-12 educators space to create their wikis--all for free and without advertising. You can designate your wiki as public, protected, or private. Public wikis can be viewed and edited by anyone. Protected wikis can be viewed by anyone, but only members can edit content. Private wikis might be preferred by educators, as only members can view and edit pages.
Will Richardson (2005) provided a cautionary statement about the use of wikis: "There are no technological safeguards against a user putting bogus information into the site or vandalizing an entry; the community of people using the wiki keeps the information accurate by policing itself" (p. 25). On the positive side, however, best practices for using wikis in both business and educational environments include for project management, reducing email overload, and building a dynamic intranet, according to Jeff Brainard of Socialtext.net (Kane, Reingold, Brainard, 2007).
Classroom wikis are great educational tools for student collaboration and note taking as teachers can track student postings. However, public wikis (e.g., Wikipedia) can pose a problem when used as research tools. Users don't necessarily know anything about the authors of the content, their credibility, and validity of the content posted. We need to encourage students to use primary and secondary sources when conducting research, and to teach students critical evaluation skills for what they read. As educators, we are faced with the dilemma of using public wikis as "sources consulted" but not "sources cited" (Schrock, 2007, pp. 38-39). In fairness, however, Wikipedia is making greater effort to ensure credibility and reliability of its content (e.g., see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources). You’ll see lists of references at the bottom of pages. Imbedded within content, citations are numbered and you will see the phrase “citation needed” next to unreferenced content. For example, look for those as you read about Web 2.0 at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0).
For those who don't mind listening to a longer debate (about 1 hour) on Web 2.0, you might listen to the Jimmy Wales and Andrew Keen Debate on Web 2.0 at FORA.tv (2008, Feb. 28). They begin with a discussion of Wikipedia, which is a thread throughout the debate, and proceed to discuss recent research, free access to knowledge, loss of newspapers, the accuracy of Wikipedia, hierarchy of knowledge, and anonymity. Wikipedia was founded by Jimmy Wales. Keen, a critic of Wikipedia, is concerned that the Web 2.0 movement is linked to intelligentsia giving their labors away for free. People who contribute their knowledge are essentially unknown. Keen, unlike Wales, does not view Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. How can you interpret the social-cultural context of the knowledge? All information comes with baggage and to understand that knowledge, we need to understand who contributed it without having to search for the authorship.
Some wikis for math educators:
HOT! Need more inspiration to try Web 2.0 tools?
Check out the Edublog Awards in best of everything categories (e.g., individual, group, new, and teacher blogs; best educational use of audio, video, social networking service, virtual world, wiki and more). Of course, you can then visit those sites.
The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is a must see site to learn about teaching with new technology. The Top 100 Tools for Learning include many Web 2.0 tools for collaboration and communication, and multimedia development tools.
Read Web 2.0 Coming of Age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web edited by Terry Freedman (2006). This free 93-page booklet, also available in audio format, provides more practical advice on how to get going and applications in education.
HOT! Need help with keeping up with Web 2.0 and emerging technologies?
Emerging Technologies Initiative from the New Media Consortium (NMC) focuses on emerging technologies and how to use them. The purpose is to stimulate "systematic thinking about the future and its possible impacts." The NMC is composed of hundreds of universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The Horizon Project is their centerpiece and its annual Horizon Report is read extensively by thousands.
The K-12 Online Conference is a free, online, annual professional development conference offering opportunities for educators around the globe to share innovative ways web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. Presentations are archived since 2006. Look for the upcoming conference.
Net Technologies for Teaching and Learning is a wiki created by the University of Manitoba's Learning Technologies Centre. It will help you keep up with the latest on Flickr, Blogs, Wikis, SocialBookmarking, Audio, Video, WebConferencing, and TyingItAllTogether.
Participatory Media Literacy (PML) is an excellent resource created by Howard Rheingold (2006). Hosted by Socialtext.net, "This wiki-based curriculum combines texts that address the social, political, economic, cultural aspects of participatory media with practical instructions in the use of each medium" (PML, sec: Syllabus). Exercises combine theory and practice for bloggers, wiki workers, social bookmarkers and media-sharers, podcasters, and vloggers, and individuals who want to become any of those.
Webopedia Web 2.0 terms will help you expand your vocabulary. Webopedia is online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology definitions.
Sources for above definitions:
Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov/voip/
Fountain, R. (n.d.). Wiki pedagogy: http://www.profetic.org:16080/dossiers/article.php3?id_article=969
PodcastFAQ: glossary: http://www.podcastfaq.com/glossary/blogging-and-podcasting-terms/
TechTarget.com (2009, May 21). Cloud computing: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid201_gci1287881,00.html
Any innovation, including the implementation of Web 2.0 tools, must become part of a school's culture to be sustained. According to David Jakes (2006):
In support of and extending Jakes' (2006) view, Dian Schaffhauser (2009) noted six dimensions for scaling an innovation, which are in a framework developed by Chris Dede of Harvard University and Allyson Knox of Microsoft. The traditional way to look at an innovation is spread. However, a successful innovation program involves more than just adding users. It involves depth, sustainability, shift, evolution, and emotion. Depth produces transformative change and leads to improved educational outcomes; Sustainability, as the name suggests, means that the changes in practice are maintained over time; Shift refers to the users of the innovation assuming ownership of it and spreading its impact to others; Evolution means that those who adopt the innovation make revisions to it as an ongoing process (p. 32). Emotion comes into play when asking people to try something new. While those who are struggling might be eager, those who believe themselves operating at high quality might not be so willing (p. 33). The key to remember is that significant changes in classroom instruction brought about by a sustained innovation might not be realized for two or three years.
In terms of sustaining technology in schools, a more concentrated effort is needed to use technology to customize learning. According to the Digital Learning Council (2011), an initiative of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, "Today, less than 10 percent of students around the nation are experiencing the benefits of digital learning. States must advance bold reforms to make systemic changes in education to extend this option to all students" (p. 3). Digital reform in education is needed to better meet needs of students who are already using technology out of school for such things as texting, gaming, posting on the internet, and exercising their own creativity using technology tools. Ten elements for high quality digital learning are included within its Roadmap for Reform:
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See other Technology Integration pages:
Part 1: Technology Integration: Essential Questions: Page 1 | 2 |